There is a growing worldwide shortage of air traffic controllers. Forecasts from the International Civil Aviation Organisation predict a shortfall of over 40,000 controllers over the next 20 years, which is a significant concern as the profession is key to a safe aviation industry.

Despite the public perception of the job as a predominantly male profession, a growing number of women have begun a rewarding career as an air traffic controller over the past decades. While it does require specific skills, these are not directly related to gender. The air traffic control community consists of an extremely diverse mix of people, in which women deserve to be proportionally represented. Though demanding at times, the job of an air traffic controller is very gratifying and generally well compensated in both salary and time off.

International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to recognise that women have an essential role in aviation and air traffic control. The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations, IFATCA, actively encourages employers and lawmakers to ensure an equal opportunity environment exists in recruitment, training and career opportunities.

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